Meaning: Act quickly while the opportunity is still available.
Example: If you want the job, you need to strike while the iron is hot.
Origin: Blacksmiths working iron by hand heat the iron in a fire to red-hot making it malleable. The Smith removes the iron from the fire and shapes it with blows from a hammer. They need to work quickly before the iron cools. Once the iron is cool, it becomes brittle and the opportunity to hammer it into shape has passed.
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